Politics And The NSA Story By Bryan Preston

by John Hawkins | December 29, 2005 9:56 am

The blogs are abuzz with this story[1]:

December 28, 2005—Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 23% disagree.

This is good news. The country won’t impeach President Bush for doing his job. It won’t back any Democrat attempt to gut the NSA for doing its job. In the America that lives and breathes outside the commentariat, common sense prevails as it usually does.

This doesn’t mean the Democrats still won’t try to gut the NSA, or that the Republicans won’t roll over for it. The country didn’t think much of the McCain amendment either, yet 96 Senators voted for it and the Bush adminstration rolled over and let it through. The NSA is under threat in the coming year as this “scandal” for which the participants deserve a medal drips on.

The fact is, the NSA story is more than a political story, as is the McCain amendment. We’re starting 2006 with two disadvantages in the war that are of our own making. The first disadvantage is the banning of coercive interrogation techniques that fall short of torture. Some terrorist will get through because some other terrorist who had been captured was never forced to tell what he knew about the terrorist who remained at large. The second disadvantage is the collection of revelations concerning how we have been keeping the terrorists from attacking on US soil for four years. Knowing something about how we have been finding their sleepers here in the US, the terrorists abroad will change their communications strategies and tactics. If the NSA is left intact—a big if—it will adapt, but until it adapts, the terrorists will have a window of time during which we’re not listening to them.

So we won’t be listening when they communicate internationally. We won’t learn anything about ongoing terrorist operations from those terrorists we’re fortunate enough to capture alive. That’s a heckuva a way to ring in our fifth year of war.

This content was used with the permission of JunkYardBlog[2].

  1. this story: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/NSA.htm
  2. JunkYardBlog: http://junkyardblog.net/archives/week_2005_12_25.html#005198

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